At long last, some action on the hitting coach front! An article in the NY Daily News early Friday hinted that this move was coming, and this tweet from Matt Kardos made it sound like it's a done deal. Marcus Thames, former Yankee and current hitting coach at Double-A Trenton, is going to be the new assistant hitting coach for the Major League club next year.
Thames was one of the first candidates named back in October after Kevin Long was fired. It was never confirmed if he interviewed for the position, but I have to imagine there was some kind of meeting and discussion, formal or informal, if the Yankees made this decision. The dual-hitting coach trend is pretty new to the game and for once, it's good to see the Yankees following the trend in its early stages instead of scrambling to catch up later. The "head" hitting coach position still needs to be filled, but per the NYDN report, MiL hitting coordinator James Rowson is the favorite for the job.
Thames' reputation over the last few seasons has been built on his ability to work with younger players and strong positive feedback from guys who've played for the High-A Tampa and Trenton teams. I expect him to start working with newly acquired Didi Gregorius ASAP and I'm going to take this move as a sign that the Yankees are serious about getting younger and getting more from their top prospects.